The first step is your order. Ideally, we already had brief contact before you placed your order and you already have an overview of the expected delivery time. If not and if you do not receive a message from me within 2-3 days after your order, your rope is immediately available from stock. If your rope is delivered fresh from the USA, you will receive a notification. This way we can still see whether the expected delivery time is okay for you, or whether we can find an alternative that is available for you more quickly.
I now have so many orders that I order at least once a month in the US year-round. More often even twice a month. This means that your order will usually be passed on to the relevant manufacturer a short time later. At most, delays can occur here if I have already received further orders for which not all open questions have yet been clarified.
As a next step, the entire order goes on to the manufacturer. If all the ropes are available from stock there, the ropes are usually on their way to Germany the very next working day. However, delivery bottlenecks can also arise at the manufacturer. This can lead to further delays. Normally, however, the manufacturers' warehouses are replenished within a few working days and the order is only held up for a short time.
Now that all the items are together, the journey begins. The manufacturer usually has the ropes picked up by a service provider. This in turn transports the package to the nearest export airport. Depending on the distance either by land or by plane. At the export airport, the package is checked again by the local customs authorities. It is now important that all documents that belong to the package are attached to the outside of the package in multiple copies. Otherwise there would be delays here too if customs cannot clearly identify and calculate the contents. As a rule, however, the export takes place very quickly. The package is then loaded onto the plane and off to Germany.
The mysterious customs office
When the parcel has landed in Germany, it is handed over to the local customs authority by the responsible transport company. Again, it is important that enough copies of the papers are attached to the outside of the package. If this is not the case, there is a risk of further delays. But if everything is there and correct, the package will now be cleared at customs. The content is checked, the value is determined and the due customs duties and import sales tax due are calculated. When this process is completed, the package is in turn handed over to the next responsible delivery service, who finally transports the delivery to my warehouse.
If not all papers are available at this step and there are still questions, the package will not be delivered directly by the delivery service, but will be transported to the nearest customs office. In this case I get a notification that I have to release the package myself at the customs office with the missing documents.
The route through the German customs offices takes by far the most time. A few years ago it was just a few days at customs, now it's two to three weeks. As long as you are not notified by customs, you will not get any information about where the package is at the moment, let alone how long it will take.
Finally arrived at the warehouse
Now all hurdles have finally been overcome and the package with your rope has arrived at my location. I usually manage to repack all the ropes on the same day and prepare the packages for shipping to the respective customer. So does your rope. Packed up, it's already on its way again the next working day. However, it is now only a few kilometers and one to two working days to your home.
Here I will show you again a small overview of the planned times between the different stations
Order step / transport duration in working days
Your order & order from the manufacturer 3-6 days
Order receipt manufacturer & shipping 3-6 days
Transport USA - Germany 3-4 days
German customs - delivery 3-20 days
Outer packaging & shipping 1-2 days
Transport to the recipient 2-3 days
Average total time 17 business days
Unfortunately, there are always deviations from the ideal case. Your rope passes through so many hands along the way and is processed by different companies and authorities. Unscheduled delays can occur at almost any point. It can start with errors in the transaction of the order or payment between Germany and the USA. What happens occasionally is that the package has to wait for several days when being transported within the USA because severe weather conditions make further transport impossible.
One of the most common delays occurs when paperwork is lost somewhere and the next organization has to request the necessary paperwork before the package can be processed further.
There have also been errors within the address. This can happen with little things like differences between German and English spelling. Ambiguities arise and the actual recipient first has to be determined by one of the delivery organizations. For example, the package ends up at the wrong customs office and the recipient is not notified because of jurisdictional issues.
It can also happen that the package is damaged on the way. As a result, the package can no longer be processed by machine and must be sorted by hand. In principle, all transport routes are optimized and simplified as far as possible. So that the packages can usually be transported to their destination without any problems. However, sometimes the strangest mistakes occur.
One of the strangest cases so far was that the package was equipped with so many different barcodes on the long way that in the end nobody knew which one was the right one. The package was therefore transported in circles for weeks until customer service was able to completely recode the package so that it could finally be handed over to the right recipient.
Even if there have been longer delays in the meantime, all ropes have ultimately been delivered to where they were needed.